Owners of air conditioning systems must comply with a range of increasingly complex legislations. F-Gas Regulations, Air Conditioning Assessments and the R22 phase-out programme are just a few. It all adds up to a confusing headache with potentially expensive result.
- Natural Air guides you through the legal maze, ensuring full compliance and complete peace of mind.
F-Gas (Fluorinated Gas) Regulations
Common fluorinated gases (F-Gas) are hydrofluoro-carbons (HFCs) widely used in air conditioning. HFCs are greenhouse gases, believed to contribute to global warming. As a result of the Kyoto Protocol, the EC F-Gas Regulations came into force in the UK in July 2007, seeking to limit the release of F-Gas into the atmosphere.
- They place a number of general obligations on the owners of all equipment containing HFCs to:
- Use all measures, that are technically feasible and so not entail disproportionate costs, to prevent leakage of refrigerants.
- Repair any detected leaks as soon as possible.
- Use appropriately trained and qualified contractors to service, maintain and dispose of equipment and refrigerant.
- In addition, for owners of systems containing more than 3kg of refrigerant, additional obligations apply:
- To conduct regular leak testing by certified personnel (usually annually, but 6 monthly or even quarterly for systems containing over 30kg of refrigerant)
- Maintain records for each system:
- The quantity & type of refrigerant
- Quantities of refrigerant added, recovered and disposed of
- Identification of the technician and company who performed any servicing or maintenance
- The dates and results of leak checks
- Natural Air service engineers are fully qualified in refrigerant handling, fault diagnosis and system repair. We are approved by the Register of Companies Competent to handle Refrigerants (REFCOM). As a result you can rely on us to satisfy all of the requirements described above and be confident that our F-Gas Management service includes all the checks and record-keeping required for our customers to comply with their legal obligations under the F-Gas regulations.
R-22 Phase Out
The environmental protection (controls on Ozone Depleting Substances) Regulations 2002 ban the use of Virgin R22 from 31st December 2009. Recycled R22 can continue to be used until December 2014 but is expensive and in short supply.
- For owners of R22 air conditioning, the most cost-effective solution is likely to be to replace it with a modern, energy efficient system offering 70% saving in energy, greatly reduced CO2 emissions and financial payback in under 4 years. New equipment often qualifies for the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme (www.eca.gov.uk). This allows the installation cost to be offset against taxable profits—effectively reducing the cost of the new system by around 30%.
Air Conditioning Assessments
Since 4th January 2009, any air conditioning system over 250kw in capacity (usually measured across the entire building) needs to have an Air conditioning inspection and certification at least every 5 years. As of 4th January 2011, these rules also applied to any systems over 12kW. Compliance is enforced by the Trading Standards Institute.